If I were ever asked what my last meal would be, it wouldn’t be a difficult answer. Foie gras, seared gently and cooked medium-rare, served with a compote of sorts and some toasts. It’s heaven on a plate to me.
Sadly, I can count the number of people I know who love liver as much as I do on one finger. So as a result, I’ve rarely prepared it.
Fortunately, I am able to buy beef liver where I live, and do enjoy it on occasion, typically with eggs and lots of browned onions.
And, I am able to purchase chicken liver in order to make chicken liver paté.
But there is just no comparing a slice of beef liver, or puréed chicken livers to the wonderfulness that is foie gras, and it was high time I purchased it.
I purchased two lobes from D’Artagnan – one to cook sliced, and the other to make a paté for the holidays.
Foie Gras with Beet Pancakes, Poached Apples, and Nectar
I chose to serve the foie gras with beet pancakes, which I made simply with grated beets, chopped shallots, egg, and flour.
Because fruit pairs so well with foie gras, I poached apple slices in a combination of apple nectar and maple syrup until soft, then reduced the liquid until syrupy.
Sometimes there is confusion, as one can make paté from liver, or one can make paté from foie gras, as my friend Stéphane did when I visited him at his home five long years ago. I got to help a little!
To prepare the foie gras, slice the lobe gently but firmly. Place the slices on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.
I like to cook foie gras in browned butter. I prefer a lighter sear, so I immediately turned down the fire after turning over the foie gras slices.
It only takes a few minutes per side, depending on the thickness. As I mentioned, I love foie gras medium rare. To the plate with 2 slices of foie gras I added a beet pancake, some of the nectar-poached apples, and then poured on a little syrup.
The combination was perfection, if I may say so myself!
I included the beet pancake for color, but one could place the foie gras slices on bread slices optionally.
If all you’ve heard about foie gras is the inhumane treatment of ducks and geese, please read this article by my favorite Serious Eats writer J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT. The article is well-researched, educational, and also based on personal experience.